Main content
City of Alexandria Homepage
Thursday, December 25  •  57°Cloudy Air Quality: Green
CloseWeather Forecast
Today: High 51° Low 34°
Partly CloudyAir Quality: Yellow
Fri: High 53° Low 34°
SunnyAir Quality: Yellow
Sat: High 56° Low 40°
SunnyAir Quality: Yellow
Sun: High 49° Low 41°
Showers
Alert
Schedule of Services for the Christmas Holiday Week -- Updated 12/22/2014 12:38:16 PM

All City of Alexandria government offices will be closed on Wednesday, December 24; Thursday, December 25; and Friday, December 26, in observance of the Christmas holidays. Residential refuse and recycling will be collected on Wednesday, December 24. There is no collection scheduled on Thursday, December 25; and Thursday’s collection will take place on Friday, December 26.

Read More...
City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
Green Building Resource Center
Share Share RSS RSS Print Print Text Size Text Size NormalText Size LargeText Size Extra Large
Page updated Jul 27, 2012 9:37 AM
CloseComments

No Comments Posted Yet


Nexus Between Climate Change and Green Buildings

You've probably seen increased reference to climate change, global warming and greenhouse gases in the same sentence over the past decade. What is climate change, really? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) state "climate change is a long-term shift in the statistics of the weather," caused by the "interactions" of atmosphere, ocean, land, and solar radiation. Water vapor and carbon dioxide (CO2) are two types of greenhouse gases. Both these gases help moderate the temperature of Earth's land, oceans and atmosphere. If the balance of CO2 becomes too high or low, the Earth's temperatures are affected.

Today, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) state CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere have increased by 100 parts per million per volume (ppmv) since the Industrial Revolution and this number continues to increase. Scientists attribute the rise in CO2 with the rise of the Earth's temperatures. This trend is known as global warming which is linked to glaciers melting, changes to a region's precipitation, drier climates, and warmer ocean waters.

One significant way CO2 is produced is the burning of fossil fuels. Examples of common fossil fuels are gasoline and coal. In 2009, the U.S. Energy Administration concluded buildings are the largest contributor of CO2 emissions. Buildings consume a total of 77% of the electricity produced in the U.S. and 81% of this electricity is produced from coal burning. In order to help reduce and possibly reverse global warming and climate change, our buildings' electricity consumption must be reduced.

Those buildings that attempt to reduce their energy consumption are often referred to as "green buildings". Examples of energy efficient designs or practices include but are not limited to: reduction of artificial lighting, installation of Energy Star appliances, use of natural ventilation and efficient building designs. Today buildings can certify their reduced environmental impact through the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Green Building Rating System™. LEED version 3.0 awards more credit points to buildings which are dedicated to reducing their carbon footprint and energy consumption.

Since 2005, the City of Alexandria publically vowed to reduce its own carbon footprint by signing the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. The City of Alexandria released its Energy and Climate Change Action Plan 2012 – 2020 (the Plan) on March 14, 2011.  The development of the Plan builds on the work done in developing the Environmental Action Plan 2030 (EAP) by providing information on policies and measures that the City is already undertaking, as well as possible new short-term and medium-term measures to achieve the EAP's greenhouse gas emission reduction targets of 10% by 2012, 20% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. Moreover, it identifies measures for adapting to the physical and human impacts of climate change.

For further references related to climate change and green buildings see the following links:

Green Building Resource Center
301 King St., Room 4100
Alexandria, Va 22314
703.746.4065
Fax: 703.519.3356
E-mail

Office Hours:
Monday-Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.